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Author Topic: [DH Comics #10] Smoke and Shadow, Part 1  (Read 12343 times)
Clowngoon
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« Reply #100 on: Nov 07, 2015 03:27 am »

Or maybe they didn't show because they're Fire Nation spirits? And we all know about the Legend of Korra Fire Nation- oh wait. We don't... Angry
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"Some friendships can transcend through lifetimes."

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AtoMaki
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« Reply #101 on: Nov 07, 2015 04:07 am »

Unless the Kemikurage are immortal human spirits, ala Iroh in Korra, perhaps some ancient firebenders' spirits who had views similar to Ozai etc, then it makes no sense.

From the looks of it, they are an even worse kind of spirits: *ssholes. If I was an *sshole spirit with too much time and power, I would cause a mess like S&S too - just because I could  Smiley.
Or that. But again, if they're twerp spirits - where were they in TLOK?

Literally every spirit in TLOK is an *sshole. So they were probably there, somewhere in the crowd.
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Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

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Polaris
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« Reply #102 on: Nov 07, 2015 06:56 am »


If you look in the far far right with your invisible lenses you can see Koh waiting to steal Asami's face after all that has already happened.

Water Tribe Avatars are cursed, ask Kuruk.
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colle
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« Reply #103 on: Nov 10, 2015 01:24 pm »

I do think there might be more to the Kemurikage than what they seem, maybe they are not really spirits, we'll see.

It was interesting to see Iroh and Ursa interact because we have not seen them interact before; at some point I like to thank Ursa also thanks Iroh for being a good father figure to Zuko.

Overall, I did enjoy the comic and I am interested to see what happens next.
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Runamuck
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« Reply #104 on: Nov 14, 2015 01:42 pm »

It’ll be interesting to see what the Kemurikage will turn out to be.
There are two major possibilities, actual spirits or a human conspiracy.
While some people doubt that spirits would have a motive for putting Ozai back on the throne, I think that there could be an explanation for it. We have seen in book 2 of Legend of Korra that spirits can more or less feed of emotions to some degree. If these spirits feed of negative emotions it would be a feast for them without equal, if they can bring a genocidal megalomaniac back to the throne to restart the 100 year war.
I do though think that a human conspiracy would be more likely. The title of the trilogy even smells heavily of smoke and mirrors kind of stuff. But who would benefit from bringing Ozai back to the throne? Some people suspect Azula, but I doubt that personally. I don’t think she seemed like she would be mentally up for the task last time we saw her, and the descriptions for the last part makes it sound like she very much is a third party in this situation. Also the spirits appear to be a fair bit taller than she is. I think that the conspirators would more likely be people who lost their positions when the war ended. Someone like War Minister Qin or High General Bujing seem more like people who could be behind this type of conspiracy if I had to pick any already known characters.

About Suki’s eyes, since I have Nel Yomtov’s coloring in fresh memory I’m most certainly not going to throw a fit about such a minor detail, but it reminded me of something. Since Gurihiru are a team of Japanese artists maybe it could come from a communications problem? I remembered reading something about there occasionally being problems with mixing green and blue up in several Asian languages, among those Japanese apparently: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/GreenIsBlue

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Loopy
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« Reply #105 on: Nov 16, 2015 07:14 pm »

It’ll be interesting to see what the Kemurikage will turn out to be.
There are two major possibilities, actual spirits or a human conspiracy.
While some people doubt that spirits would have a motive for putting Ozai back on the throne, I think that there could be an explanation for it. We have seen in book 2 of Legend of Korra that spirits can more or less feed of emotions to some degree. If these spirits feed of negative emotions it would be a feast for them without equal, if they can bring a genocidal megalomaniac back to the throne to restart the 100 year war.
I do though think that a human conspiracy would be more likely. The title of the trilogy even smells heavily of smoke and mirrors kind of stuff. But who would benefit from bringing Ozai back to the throne? Some people suspect Azula, but I doubt that personally. I don’t think she seemed like she would be mentally up for the task last time we saw her, and the descriptions for the last part makes it sound like she very much is a third party in this situation. Also the spirits appear to be a fair bit taller than she is. I think that the conspirators would more likely be people who lost their positions when the war ended. Someone like War Minister Qin or High General Bujing seem more like people who could be behind this type of conspiracy if I had to pick any already known characters.

My problem with that theory is that even if Ozai came back and War Minister Qin got his position back, how would that benefit Qin? He'd be War Minister for a nation that would be quickly divided between those loyal to Ozai and those who have come around to Zuko's way, and be faced with a rebuilt and reunified Earth Kingdom with a modern military containing tanks and airships ready to deploy on a moment's notice. Likewise, the Fire Nation wouldn't have the support of the colonies, which have now been given sovereignty and probably wouldn't be quick to submit to a foreign nation again.

Not to mention that Aang is now the global super-cop.

That's why I hope it's spirits. Any human who thinks this is a good plan is an idiot, and idiot villains never work for me.
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #106 on: Nov 17, 2015 12:35 pm »

That's why I hope it's spirits. Any human who thinks this is a good plan is an idiot, and idiot villains never work for me.

I'm pretty sure that humans couldn't dodge Mai's knives in the way the Kemurikage did, so I would say it is a pretty safe bet that they are spirits.

OR maybe they are the Fire Nation not!Kyoshi Warriors... that might be really interesting!
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Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

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Solid Sun
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« Reply #107 on: Nov 17, 2015 01:35 pm »

They've got to be spirits, or they're humans with weird superpowers. Since powers in the Avatar world are element manipulation and stuff, with the truly paranormal things happening with the spirits, they've got to be the first.

And, really, creatures from another world is the only reason the Ozai fan club can be a threat.
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Runamuck
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« Reply #108 on: Nov 17, 2015 01:38 pm »

People like Qin or Ukano lost everything they had been working for when the war ended. All the years of hard work for political power and prestige were for nothing when Ozai was taken out. People like that would do anything to claw their way back to the top. Desperation like that can lead to some very shortsighted decisions. That kind of stuff happens in the real world too. It would be about personal power, not the benefit of the nation, as it is correct that it seems to be completely unfeasible to restore the Fire Nation to its former position.

What is so special about running and ducking? That knife dodge didn’t look particularly special. Neither did the dodge of Mai’s kick or when they disappeared in a puff of smoke as Mai tried to punch them. We are basically talking about stuff that the Equalists pulled off all the time…

All in all, I’m just saying that both options are still very much open.
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Solid Sun
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« Reply #109 on: Nov 17, 2015 02:23 pm »

^u mean, illusionists like Magneto ? I can vouch for that but they'll need to explain the levitation, the lacks of legs (or a body, really) and stuff.

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Runamuck
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« Reply #110 on: Nov 17, 2015 03:23 pm »

Illusionist, sure, but no need for any particularly remarkable super powers. The Kemurikage do not necessarily hover, they just have their feet covered in a cloud of smoke, and their robes hide most of their body shapes.
Really, the Kemurikage remind me a lot of the DCAU villain Phantasm. You could try and watch the movie “Batman – Mask of the Phantasm” to see what I’m talking about, it’s even a really damn good movie to boot.
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Solid Sun
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« Reply #111 on: Nov 18, 2015 05:30 pm »

Saw it, good stuff, I think I'll watch it again, thanks.

Yes, that illusion, I mostly thought of Mysterio, like, he can make it looks like he shoots laser beams and stuff but he's just a regular human, the Kemurikage lacks Mysterio's technology and stuff though, so explaining it all will be hard.

But I stick to this theory, or else, spirits just possessed humans and kept their powers.
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Loopy
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« Reply #112 on: Nov 19, 2015 07:25 pm »

People like Qin or Ukano lost everything they had been working for when the war ended. All the years of hard work for political power and prestige were for nothing when Ozai was taken out. People like that would do anything to claw their way back to the top. Desperation like that can lead to some very shortsighted decisions. That kind of stuff happens in the real world too. It would be about personal power, not the benefit of the nation, as it is correct that it seems to be completely unfeasible to restore the Fire Nation to its former position.

"It happens in the real word" is the worst reason to make something a plot element. I happen in the real world, and I don't want to read comics about me; they'd be boring. Tongue

That's the type of thing that could be dealt with in a story starring Qin focusing on how pathetic he is, but as the final reveal of an adventure story, it would fall flat and make the rest of the story lesser in retrospect.
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Runamuck
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« Reply #113 on: Nov 21, 2015 07:59 am »

Well, it’s not my fault that you private life supposedly is boring.  Tongue

But back on topic. I think one could write an interesting story with that starting point, but it would be more about the consequences of such a coup attempt than a mystery of who did it. As such to the common reader the revelation of the War Minister or the High General would either be boring or confusing as neither character were very prominent in the cartoon. It’s all just a possible type of motive for whoever is pulling the strings.

I’m kinda looking forward to how they will pull of the mystery of the Kemurikages identity, but I’m also dreading it a bit as it is very likely to fall a bit flat.
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Loopy
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« Reply #114 on: Nov 23, 2015 07:27 pm »

This book is selling for just over $6 today on Amazon. If anyone was waiting, I doubt it will ever be cheaper.
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chicken_sokka
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« Reply #115 on: Nov 25, 2015 03:09 am »

This book is selling for just over $6 today on Amazon. If anyone was waiting, I doubt it will ever be cheaper.

Eh, I'll wait up for the library edition. Those look nicer on the shelf.
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Loopy
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« Reply #116 on: Nov 25, 2015 07:03 pm »

I'm jealous of your massive shelves. I only have one tall enough for those editions, and it's full right now of much higher-priority stuff.



Anyway, I was talking with Icy via PM about the Rainbow Fire Matter©, and a new thought occurred to me to maybe explain why such a random thing was inserted into the story. (So this theory is based on the idea that it wasn't just another case of Because Coolz or Zuko being his usual Gary Stu self.)

Anyway, it's based on these quotes from The Firebending Masters:

   Zuko: Their fire was beautiful. I saw so many colors, colors I've never imagined.
Aang: Like firebending harmony.
Sun Warrior Chief: Yes. They judged you, and gave you visions of the meaning of firebending.
...
Aang: All this time, I thought firebending was destruction. Since I hurt Katara, I've been too afraid and hesitant. But now I know what it really is... it's energy, and life.
Zuko: Yeah. It's like the Sun, but inside of you. Do you guys realize this?
Sun Warrior Chief: Well, our civilization is called the Sun Warriors... so yeah.
Zuko: That's why my firebending was so weak before. Because for so many years, hunting you was my drive... it was my purpose. So when I joined you, I lost sight of my inner fire. But now, I have a new drive. I have to help you defeat my father and restore balance to the world.

And it's also based on this little unexplained quirk:



So, yes, Azula's fire is blue because the creative team knew that she'd be fighting Zuko and wanted a way to keep their respective fireballs distinct, but what if Gene is filling in the reasoning by linking it to the rainbow fire? Zuko got rainbow fire when he was defending his family, which Gene might consider to be related enough to Life to count. But lots of things could be related to Life, and the family defense thing is tenuous enough that it's far from necessary, so what other reason could it have for being included?

Maybe Gene is setting up a Chekov's Gun, reminding everyone of Rainbow Power right here in the first volume of this trilogy, with an eye towards bringing Azula in to do something similar.

And maybe it will turn out that Azula's blue fire was related to Life in some way all this time, and that will be the justification for a Redemption arc for her, that she's always had some level of goodness that couldn't be completely suppressed and so expressed itself in her flame.

I'm not sure I'd like this, but I'd have to give points to Gene for planning and foreshadowing technique.
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Solid Sun
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« Reply #117 on: Nov 26, 2015 11:13 am »

^Sounds good, I, for one, do not believe that blue flames meant power at least. Otherwise, Ozai and Iroh would use 'em.
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plushu
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« Reply #118 on: Dec 05, 2015 04:02 am »

^Sounds good, I, for one, do not believe that blue flames meant power at least. Otherwise, Ozai and Iroh would use 'em.

Even thought I always knew the explanation behind the blue fire, I always saw the blue flames as something that was distinguished and rare, like Azula. They weren't more powerful, just different, and Azula would be the only one to create blue fire because it was a part of her own unique style--a combination of her fighting style and her personality.
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Icy_Ashford
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« Reply #119 on: Dec 17, 2016 12:28 am »

I got the library edition of Smoke and Shadow which contains comments from Gene and Gurihiru.

I'll share the ones that catch my interest from Part 1. Apologies for any typos.

Gene's comments:

The scene where Aang takes Kiyi to ride on the dolphin-fish.
Quote
Originally, I had a different hybrid animal for this scene. After Mike read my script, he suggested dolphin-fish, which he'd just used in "Korra Alone," the second episode of The Legend of Korra Book Four. They turned out to be a perfect fit here.

This is where Ursa freaks out upon learning Kiyi is on the dolphin-fish.
Quote
My wife and I have four kids. As they get older and we give them more freedom, I experience more worry as their father. My fears aren't as extreme as Ursa's are here, probably because I've never had my face get rearranged by a giant spirit. But I definitely drew on my own feelings to write the Ursa scenes in this book.

The scene where Mai introduced Kei Lo to Ty Lee.
Quote
I'm always looking for cute, saccharine names that couples can call each other. "Sweetie," Aang and Katara's go-to, is used in both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. "Babe" I got from two friends of mine. I love them but cringe a little inside every time I hear them use it. I chose it for Mai specifically because it is so not Mai.

The main trio leave Zuko.
Quote
We debated whether to keep Katara and Sokka in this story longer. In the end, we decided to keep the focus on the Fire Nation dynamic.

Zuko and his mother are having a conversation at night on the ship before they head back to the FN.
Quote
Zuko's referencing the final scenes of The Search. Ever since I was invited into the Avatar: The Last Airbender sandbox, I've been getting mail from Avatar fans. A good percentage of it ask about Azula. Some folks want her to stay an antagonist. Other want her to switch sides.

The scene featuring Sokka's submarines.
Quote
I loved the waterbending-powered submarines that Sokka designed for the invasion of the Fire Nation in "The Day of Black Sun." Technology as awesome as that wouldn't just go away, of course. Here, we're showing that folks actually improved upon Sokka's original designs.

The scene where Zuko and his family are ambushed and Ursa tries to hold Kiyi.
Quote
This happens to me. When I get scared, my hands get cold.

When Kei Lo helps Zuko during the ambush.
Quote
We give Kei Lo his true heroic moment here. Without it, he's not really a romantic possibility for Mai.

Zuko checks on his family after a spear pierces the carriage.
Quote
As I was working and reworking the outline for Smoke and Shadow, fear emerged as the dominant theme for the book. It made sense. At the time, I was struggling with a lot of fear in my writing life. I had taken on multiple projects, a couple of which just seemed too big for me. In a lot of ways, writing Smoke and Shadow was therapy for me.

Zuko's multicolored fire.
Quote
The multicolored cone of fire is a nod to the episode "The Firebending Masters," one of the last episodes in the animated series.

Ukano is visited by the Kemurikage for the second time.
Quote
Every one of these books begins with a phone call between Mike, Bryan, a few of the editors, and me. During one of these phone calls, Mike and Bryan told me about an idea they'd had while they were working on the original series. They'd wanted to introduce an order of Fire Nation warrior women, sort of like the Fire Nation version of the Kyoshi Warriors. That idea ended up on the cutting-room floor, fortunately for Gurihiru and me. We were able to flesh them out by giving them a ghostly twist and a name: the Kemurikage. Kemuri is Japanese for "smoke," and kage is Japanese for "shadow."

The last page of Part 1.
Quote
Of course we're going to bring Avatar Aang back for the next chapter. The series is called Avatar: The Last Airbender, after all.



Gurihiru's comments:

This is the scene where Ty Lee visits the flower shop.
Quote
To make the flower shop fit with the world of Avatar, we made it Eastern style with many bonsai plants. Mai's mother is performing ikebana-style flower arrangement.

Sokka's submarines.
Quote
Since there weren't many references for the submarine, we had a hard time understanding the design.
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I keep Zuko's dagger & EK coat, Iroh's wisdom, Lu Ten's grave offerings | Mako's scarf, Naga, General Iroh's army outfit, Korra's new formal outfit
Loopy
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« Reply #120 on: Dec 17, 2016 03:01 pm »

So the Rainbow Fire is just a "nod" with no meaning. Great job, Gene. That's what I'm paying money for, shallow nods. Roll Eyes

And I'm surprised Kei Lo was meant to be a real romantic possibility for Mai. I figured he was a way of marking time until Maiko returned.
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